Solomon Islands 2018

It was a delight for me to go to the Solomon Islands with 11 young people from our church in July. We had a great time even though not all of our plans eventuated as we thought they would. One thing about the mission field is that not everything goes according to plan and you have to be adaptable and flexible to handle unexpected changes.  In spite of some of minor hiccups, the trip was very fulfilling for me. I am really proud of our team in how they extended themselves and interacted with the folk we were with on a daily basis. I want to thank everyone in our wonderful church family for your prayer support whilst we were away and also for your financial contribution through the fundraising initiatives prior to our going.  Not everyone can go on these trips for many reasons but we can all help others go and represent us as a church.  It is so fulfilling to see young people be a blessing and also to be blessed through these missions trips. On the following few pages we have some pictures of our trip as well as some testimonies from the majority of our team. I encourage everyone to read through these testimonies to hear what our team have to say about their time in the Solomon Islands.  Ps Mike Groom

Team Testimonies

God has a wonderful plan for everybody’s life. God gives us talents and He wants us to multiply them (Matthew 25:15-30). The best way to achieve this is to serve and share. This missions trip was a great opportunity to fulfil this. We never know how God may use us. I have worked with kids for more than ten years, I have learnt Spanish in university, and I was in kids and prayer ministries in my church in my home country. I was so excited to have had these experiences and to share with the people in Honiara and to serve them. Through this I could glorify the Kingdom of our Lord.  Mission trips are a time when we get to know our hearts better and learn more about God’s love. We begin to realise His support and sometimes even gain a greater understanding of the plan that He has made for us.  Oksana Barylo 

Throughout this trip to the Solomon Islands I enjoyed observing our team members and the way everyone fit in so well to the culture and environment around us. It was a lot of fun getting to know the other members of the team more and seeing how everyone got along so well with people from another culture. We all made new friends and mixed in very well with those around us. I loved visiting the Solomon Islands and enjoyed going to places I have never been before – the settlement at the Honiara rubbish dump and the paediatric ward at the National Referral Hospital. I was once again reminded of some of the great needs within the nation, in particular regarding the lack of medicine within the whole nation at the moment. Witnessing these needs encourages me to think of how I can make a difference within the nation. What we see and experience on missions trip is something special. I encourage everyone to go on a missions trip if the opportunity arises and if you are able. Mikaela Groom

I think that every missions trip brings along its own set of challenges and growing opportunities. This year, I found that God was developing in me a stronger desire to serve when I became exposed to the needs of those around me. Going to the rubbish dump, I saw the need for hands, feet and heart – hands to feed, build and serve, feet to walk across cultural and socioeconomic boundaries and the need for a heart to care and to love others enough to instigate action where it is needed. I think that there is so much that we can all do – may it be big or small – to make a difference in other people’s lives. This is probably what I was challenged most about during this recent trip to the Solomon Islands.  Ester Manego 

One thing that stuck in my mind during this trip were the words on the sign at the back of the Honiara church stage – ‘Missions: The Heart of God’.  Seeing a group of young people sacrificing their holidays, time and money to intentionally take part in what is the very heartbeat of God was the greatest thing for me. We were all able to overcome fears, stretch ourselves and step out into what is unfamiliar, trusting God that he would use us in whatever capacity He wanted to.  It reminds me of something King George VI once said: And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than the known.”  Paolo Manego 

Going to the Solomon Islands was not what I expected. I really got a different perspective of living, but it was wonderful. All of the people were very friendly and playing with the kids was amazing. I really loved it. It was a great experience.  Jared Sagun

Our trip to the Solomon Islands was an experience that I will always treasure and will never forget. Although we were the ones travelling to the Solomon Islands intending to give our time and service, we definitely received so much more than we gave.  Of course, my most favourite part of the Solomon Islands trip was spending time with the kids and seeing their joyfulness towards the simplest things. I definitely recommend going on a missions trip to everyone.  Zoe Manego 

There are few words that I can use to describe the emotions I felt during my missions trip to the Solomon Islands. I definitely enjoyed experiencing new environments, such as visiting the close-knit community situated in the rubbish dump, visiting the paediatric ward at the hospital, and of course engaging in play with the local children.  God is constantly giving me new perspectives in different aspects of my life back here in Australia by continually reminding me of what I experienced over in the Solomon Islands. This missions trip truly embodies the meaning of a humbling experience. I cannot wait for the next time, thanks to the welcoming culture and people.  Xeanthea Dy

For me to have joined the team in going to Solomon Islands this year was truly a blessing. I treasure all of the memories I made with the children and all of the friends I made. I truly enjoyed spending time with the kids, sharing laughs and playing with them. I also enjoyed doing outreach programs at the local rubbish dump and the hospital.  The worship and the embracing community amplified the experience. God opened my eyes and my heart during this trip and I am so thankful for the many valuable life lessons he has taught me. I am very excited to visit again next time.  Vien Cajipe

My experience of the Solomon Islands missions trip was very confronting. I have learnt how lucky we are to have everything we have here in Australia.   The trip gave me a lot of insight into what happens in less developed countries. I am thankful for the opportunity to have experienced such an amazing trip.  Hannah Lees